28 June 2008

Scottish Labour is indeed now without a Leader

Well, I siad I'd believe it when I saw it, and I've just seen it: Wendy Alexander has just resigned, on the grounds that she has "become the story" regarding the donations scandal.

She had become the story in December, but the whispers have got too much. The referendum row didn't help, and her performance at FMQs made things worse. The one-day ban turned out to be the straw that broke the camel's back.

So who now?

Cathy Jamieson could have a tilt. Andy Kerr's chance may have passed, but might have a go. Margaret Curran screwed up earlier on in the year, but still may have a go. Malcolm Chisholm may stand, perhaps.

Finally. Nigel Griffiths is huffing that she's been hounded out over a trivial matter.

She broke the law, Nigel. The Electoral Commission said so. She then went on to break Parliamentary rules.

Are those trivial matters?


Anonymous said...

Don't overlook iain Gray.Popular with party members and intainted by the last years of Mcconnell.

Will said...

Again, a possibility. He could stand as well, though I wonder if his closeness to Wendy, and to UK Labour top brass could count against him at this time. If Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling (his former boss) were in a stronger position, he'd walk it. But as things are, he'll struggle big time.

Ted Harvey said...

All of the Scotish Labour contenders are second calibre and in keeping with the state of the Party. Not one of them will bring any significant change in the putrefying culture of the Party in Scotland. Speaking of which (the Party I mean, not Scotland)surely the next coming smell to arise from within will be that around the rumbling friction on 'which-one-of-us-shopped-Wendy-in-the-first-place?'. Wendy as leader had some strange bedfellows around her own team i.e. Charlie Gordon (now floating to the surface again?) and of course that wonderful example of progressive political woman, Margaret Curran.

boxthejack said...

Will, she took advice from the Clerks which proved wrong. As soon as the Commissioner over-ruled them she took steps to rectify the situation. That, it seems to me, is what the Commissioner is there for.

And today, with breathtaking chutzpah, the SNP have blamed her departure on "someone" in the Labour party!

Wendy should have gone sooner because she can't land a punch on Salmond. But I do think she's been miserably treated.

Will said...

Well, the Clerks clearly did screw up, but Jim Dyer himself argued that it's her responsibility to get everything in order, not theirs. Plus which, she asked the clerks when she was already too late to register some of the donations.

Besides which, I won't tire of pointing out that the donation she received was illegal, and that the Electioral Commission said it was illegal.

Regardless of what anyone thinks about the Standards Commissioner's report, that salient point - that Wendy was in clear breach of PPERA - seems to be getting missed.

And it's not like the SNP was digging around for any of that information - it popped up in the Sunday Herald. Now where other than a well-placed source within the Party is that sort of story going to come from?